YouTube Music, SoundCloud, and Apple Music, were heavily involved with conversations surrounding Black Lives Matter. Apple Music seemed to be the most involved as they held concerts about Black Lives Matter and their Twitter account still had the hashtag #blacklivesmatter in their bio. However, all three contributed to the conversation in major ways.
- On August 28, YouTube announced its new programmed playlist entitled “Freedom Songs”. This playlist was made as a tribute to protest, joy, and hope, and featured artists such as Prince, Marvin Gaye, and Beyonce.
- The founder of tripleot.com and abrandbox.com, Brandon Johnson, wrote a critical piece about this playlist, saying that Kanye West’s inclusion is “tone deaf”. He called the inclusion of West’s song, Ultralight Beam, akin to Confederate statues because it trivializes the “black struggle”.
- On October 07, YouTube introduced the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. The fund is designed to “present fresh narratives that emphasize the intellectual power…, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice.”
- When doing a sentiment analysis of the #YoutubeBlack hashtag on Twitter, most tweets have been in the pleasant-subdued quadrant, with most tweets calm and relaxed.
- SoundCloud created playlists for Black History Month in the UK. Even though this was UK-related and UK listeners could find them automatically, listeners from the US and around the world could still listen to these playlists.
- When doing a sentiment analysis of “soundcloud #blackhistorymonthuk” on Twitter, most tweets have been in the pleasant-subdued quadrant, with most tweets calm and relaxed.
- On the 26th of August, SoundCloud tweeted “Black Lives Matter. Period.” They restricted replies to the post but there were 364 retweets, 24 quote tweets, and 1.2 thousand likes.
- SoundCloud’s tweet was well-received, as most of the quote tweets praised SoundCloud with positive memes and glowing words. However, there were some tweets that were critical of SoundCloud’s decision to restrict replies to their tweet.
- Apple Music has the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in their bio).
- They held a concert on September 18 called Rap Life Live, which was inspired by their Rap Life playlist.
- This event was held in conjunction with Howard University, arguably America’s most influential HBCU. This event featured major acts like Nas, Wale, Rapsody, and Lil Baby.
- When looking at the reactions to this event on Twitter, people reacted lukewarmly to the event. Most people responded with matter-of-fact tweets to talk about their favorite artists performing.
- In August, some subscribers complained about Black Lives Matter-related “Defund the Police” ads that ran on the platform. Most of the comments about these ads spouted negative views about Black Lives Matter.
- A few seemed to take issue with the Black Lives Matter ads because they saw them as “too far-left”, “Marxist”, and “against President Trump”.
- Tidal held a virtual show which had Megan Thee Stallion as the main act.
- In this show, she put up names on the main screen such as Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
- She then ended her set with a question on the screen, “Why is it so hard being Black in America?”.
- Many of the tweets made concerning this moment praised Megan’s stance.